Cholecystokinin (Injection)

Cholecystokinin is a diagnostic aid used to test the function of the gallbladder, stomach, pancreas and intestinal tract.


Cholecystokinin is one of a group of medicines that are known as diagnostic aids. These diagnostic aids are used in medical tests to assist the doctor in identifying particular medical problems that may be occurring in the patient. They usually work by triggering a reaction in the body by introducing a natural chemical into the system. In the case of Cholecystokinin, this is a natural chemical secreted from the small intestines as a part of the normal digestive process. In normal bodily function, this triggers the release of enzymes from the pancreas and bile from the gallbladder, which are then utilized in the stomach as a part of the digestive process. Increased doses of this chemical are injected to trigger the desired response.

Cholecystokinin is given to the patient by injection in advance of these medical examination tests being carried out. This enables the doctor to check that the gallbladder and pancreas are both working effectively and are functioning properly in the patient. This medical diagnostic aid can also be used to help doctors to carry out other tests on the stomach and intestinal tract to examine function.

Cholecystokinin works by making the gallbladder contract to secrete bile and triggering enzyme production in the pancreas. Cholecystokinin also triggers contractions or peristalsis in the stomach and intestinal tract. The doctor can then assess these reactions to see if any of these organs are behaving in the manner that they should. Failure of the organs to act in this manner would then indicate a medical condition that would need treating and this can be examined further by the doctor.

This medication is only to be administered under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital or clinic environment. The medication is either injected or given to the patient by intravenous infusion depending on the reaction sought. Medication is administered based on the weight of the patient with doses being adjusted for the appropriate body size. In some cases, a second dose may be administered if the organs have not responded after a set period of time.

This diagnostic medication does not cause particular stress on the body and no adverse reactions have been reported from use. The patient may experience some minor adverse side effects of discomfort from the diagnostic treatment, but these will subside within a maximum of a few hours. These side effects include discomfort of the digestive system.

This treatment should not be used in patients who are suffering from an intestinal blockage as use can worsen this condition in these patients.

Conditions treated

  • Gallbladder problems
  • Pancreas problems

Additional conditions treated:

  • Stomach problems
  • Intestinal problems

Type of medicine

  • Diagnostic aid

Side Effects

In addition to the required effects triggered by this medication to enable tests to be carried out, other side effects may occur from the use of this medication. Some side effects may require medical attention, whereas others will simply subside as the treatment is excreted from your body.

Cholecystokinin does not have many side effects and it is unlikely to cause any serious conditions in the patient. Commonly the following may be experienced for a short period after injection, but even when they are experienced these side effects will normally abate within a maximum of a few hours. Patients should not be unduly concerned by the occurrence of the following:

  • style="font-weight: 400;">Abdominal pain
  • Flushing or redness of skin
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  • Intestinal discomfort
  • Mild rash
  • Nausea
  • Passing of gas
  • Sneezing
  • Stomach pain or cramping of the stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Yellow or brown mucusy diarrhea

Other side effects may occur that are not listed here. If you experience any other side effects simply inform the supervising doctor and they will be able to examine you.

If you experience any discomfort at the side of injection following treatment then you may need to seek medical attention for this. After treatment you should endeavor to keep the site of injection clean. If you see any signs of infection then these should be reported immediately to your doctor.

Commonly the following may occur and will last only for a short period:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Raised lump

If signs of infection occur at the site of injection then you should contact your doctor for advice and treatment.


The dose used on each patient will differ depending on the personal circumstance for each incidence of use. The following information is provided only as an average guideline. Your doctor will determine the actual dose that you will receive.

The dose will be determined based on your body weight and will be given intravenously. The treatment will be reconstituted from 5mcg vials and injected over 30-60 seconds.

For Gallbladder contraction:

Usually the dose is 0.02mcg/kg initially. The dose can be repeated after 15 minutes if patients have not responded to the treatment.

For pancreatic secretion:

Usually the dose is 0.25 units/kg initially. This is delivered as an infusion over 60 minutes.


Before taking this diagnostic medication you should discuss all other medications that you are taking with your doctor. This includes all vitamin supplements, herbal remedies, laxatives, over the counter treatments and prescription medications that you use. Medications can interact with each other to stop each other working, increase the risk of side effects and even cause new severe side effects. Ensure that you share all available information with your doctor.

Other medical problems can also impact the use of certain treatment. In the case of Cholecystokinin, this diagnostic treatment can make conditions of intestinal blockages worse. Avoid use in patients suffering from this condition until it has been satisfactorily treated.


Before undertaking a diagnostic test you must weight the risks of the test against the benefits of getting the results. You should make this decision with your doctor and you should consider all of the following together in order to make this decision:

Allergies - You should inform your doctor if you have ever had an unusual reaction to any medications that you have taken. Be sure to inform the healthcare professional of other types of allergies that you have too. This includes reactions to foods, dyes, preservatives, soaps, animals and any other substances.

  • Pediatric - Studies to determine effective and safe use have not be carried out in children. You should discuss use with your doctor.
  • Geriatric - This medication has been shown to cause no additional side effects in the elderly and is safe for use.
  • Food and drink - Alcohol, tobacco, food and drink can all interact with certain medications. You should discuss your use of all of these with your doctor before using this diagnostic treatment.
  • Flushing can occur in patients if treatment is administered rapidly, but occurrences are rare.
  • No adverse reactions have been reported to the use of Cholecystokinin.


  • Store at controlled room temperature between 15°-30° C at all times.
  • Keep out of direct light, away from moisture and prevent from freezing or overheating.
  • Before use the treatment should be visually inspected for particulates or discoloration. Do not use if medication has changed in coloration or consistency, or has visible particles floating in it.
  • After reconstitution the treatment should be administered straight away. Do not store as a reconstituted solution.

Ensure that all vials and used needles are properly disposed of after use. This medication should not be stored for reuse once opened. Any unused medication should be destroyed.


Cholecystokinin is a diagnostic medication that is used to assist in the testing of organ function.

Cholecystokinin is a natural chemical that is produced in the small intestine during digestion and as such this treatment is non-intrusive and causes only minimal side effects and no reported adverse effects in the patient.

The Cholecystokinin injection is used to test the function of the gallbladder, pancreas, stomach and intestinal tract. It works by causing the gallbladder to contract and the pancreas to secrete enzymes. It also triggers contractions of the stomach and peristalsis in the intestinal tract. The doctor is then able to observe these responses and determine if the organs affected are functioning correctly.

As a result of this contraction and unusual function of the digestive organs, the patient may experience some short-term and mild digestive discomfort. This will usually abate within a maximum of a few hours, however.

This treatment has not been tested for use in children. You should discuss use with your doctor before treatment is given.

This medication should not be used in patients suffering from intestinal blockages as use can cause the condition to worsen. Patients suffering from a blockage should be treated for the blockage before use of this treatment can be administered.

Treatment with Cholecystokinin is administered through injection over 30-60 seconds or intravenous infusion over a period of 60 minutes depending on the organ that is to be examined by the doctor.